Quick Tips on How to Color Sand and Buff your Car

by / Monday, 24 February 2014 / Published in Automotive Advice

Color Sanding

Color Sanding

What’s the last thing that comes to mind when you play around with the thought of repainting your car? Could it be, by any chance, sand paper? Have you actually ever seen sandpaper being used a newly painted vehicle? Not the prettiest sight to behold, is it? Especially if it’s going to be our cars undergoing this torturous treatment.

The reason for that is already obvious, but let’s state it to emphasize the gravity of what we’re talking about. What sandpaper does is it scrapes off or ‘destroys’ the top layer of paint on whatever surface it is used on.

The very moment that your sandpaper-armed hands meet the shiny metal paint of the car you are about to work on, your brain is already reluctant and is telling you to stop ruining the vehicle and go tinker with other car parts like the engine or the straight fin radiator. Because, that is what you are doing right – destroying it? Wrong.

As a matter of fact, this practice is actually standard operating procedures for the paint job of all cars. It is also a requirement to achieve the ultimate glossiness and shine that we see on brand new cars.

Tips on how to color sand your car:

1) Make sure you have all the necessary tools.

2) Repeat the sanding and drying process as a guide to your progress, making sure that you do it evenly. Don’t do any more than necessary.

3) Arm yourself with a sanding pad as it is very useful on curves in the way it keeps the evenness of the sand paper as digs through the panel surfaces. This way, you don’t risk scraping into the clear coat or sanding through to the base coat.

If done correctly, the final result will be absolutely amazing. Color sanding is time consuming and costly. If a paint job is not sanded, there is only one plausible reason: budget constraints. If you are getting a used car that has been repainted, there is a big chance that it no longer went through color sanding to avoid additional expense.

However, is all of this worth the wait and the money? Yes, it definitely is.

Car Buffing

Car Buffing

Now let’s talk about buffing. What exactly is it? Is it like color sanding? Well, to answer the second question, no, it is in no way as punishing as color sanding.

Buffing a vehicle is all about achieving the original luster it had back when it was brand new. Most car wash establishments have buffing services being offered as it is a more advanced level of polishing. You can, however, choose to do this in a do-it-yourself kind of style if you’ve got the tools and the patience.

Here are 3 tips to help you out:

1) Simple technique: Start from the farthest section of the car and work your way down as you progress. This way you don’t have to lean on the part you just buffed for balance in reaching the higher areas.

2) Practice. You won’t get the hang of it on the first try. Buff your car regularly. You can even do your neighbor’s if you really want to achieve master status as soon as possible.

3) Use the correct rotary and buffing equipment. Choose the right buffing compound and, if you’re buffing by hand, clean the pads regularly.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the deeper meaning of color sanding and car buffing, you might just be ready to try it out for yourself. Have an experienced pal guide you for the first few times if you feel it’s needed. For color sanding, more likely than not, it will be needed.

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